The manager, who has already signed Norwich City winger Matt Jarvis on loan and KV Mechelen midfielder Omar Mussa on a short-term deal this month, is said to be in the market for defenders as the Saddlers are somewhat threadbare at the back following the departures of Jack Fitzwater and Russell Martin.
Speaking via the Express & Star, Dean said; "We are optimistic. There are loads of phone calls going on. We are in constant conversation with agents and with football clubs.
"It’s trying to get the right ones in but we are optimistic we will have someone in for the weekend. We are on it, we know we need to get some bodies into the squad to freshen it up. All being well, something will happen before the weekend."
Walsall-born Keates went on to confirm that he has invited a couple of free agents to train with Walsall this month, with the players having the opportunity to earn a deal with the club.
Dean continued; "We have got one or two trialists in that we are having a look at. They are out of contract players. So we can do something with them at a drop of a hat so to speak. Omar we had in for a few weeks to monitor him and see how he developed."
Dean Keates January Transfer Window News Paper Talk